Editorial: Bad guy pushing bad bill

Apr. 17, 2013 @ 04:08 PM

When elected officials don’t realize whom they serve, they no longer should serve. They should respectfully resign and go back home.

Tommy Tucker, a state senator from Waxhaw, chaired the State and Local Government Committee Tuesday and told a newspaper publisher the following: “I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.”

Further, he refused a fellow senator’s request for a roll call vote when a voice vote appeared close, if not opposite of Tucker’s judgment.

The topic? Tucker has a bill for government to move its activities where fewer people are likely to look.

Getting the picture yet?

Tucker’s skills were no better two years ago in his rookie session. At his first meeting for the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee, his first big question on the state’s safety net programs to the HHS secretary was how many “illegal aliens” the department served. He later, in the same meeting, suggested every church in the state take in a kid in need of care. He also expressed belief 1.7 million North Carolinians essentially had health care through community-based clinics and health centers taking care of the poor.

Tucker’s business is his heating and cooling company, not suggesting laws for North Carolinians.

Tucker was railroading Senate Bill 287 through committee, getting it to his chamber’s floor, where if passed it would move along to the House of Representatives.

If it becomes law, certain local governments — which presently does not include any in the Tri-County area, but one day could — would not have to notify the public about important government activities in the local newspaper. Instead, those government entities could post legal notices within their websites, what is commonly referred to as places you have to “drill down” to reach.

Annexation? Zoning? Wastewater projects? Currently governments have to run them in the newspaper because it reaches the largest audience in the community. That’s not changing anytime soon.

In fact, according to the Charlotte Observer, in 2011 a check of 20 cities found the local newspaper attracting audiences 65 times larger than the local municipal website.

SB 287 is a bad bill with a bad guy pushing. Neither has any place legislating North Carolinians.